These days, when artists and public figures are concerned about maintaining popularity, endorsements and not seeming too political, it can be difficult to find Black public figures who are willing to speak out about racial injustices. But that wasn’t the case for Ruby Dee and her husband Ossie Davis.
The couple who worked as professionals in the entertainment business for more than six decades were never afraid to lend their voices to the Civil Rights Movement. So it’s only right that they be celebrated.
Back in 2012, two years before Ruby passed in 2014, the couple’s grandson, Muta’Ali Muhammad announced that he had launched a Kickstarter to produce and release a documentary about his grandparents’ lives, activism and love story.
And now that dream has become a reality.
Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee is coming to Centric.
Here’s how the press release describes the film.
For more than a half century, audiences have been mesmerized by the love story between Hollywood legends Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee. Now, their grandson Muta’Ali unearths the foundation of this unbreakable bond in the documentary “Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee,” which premieres on Centric TV Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 3 pm. Through intimate conversations with the award-winning actress, playwright and activist, Muta’Ali not only discovers intimate details about his grandparents’ relationship, but also questions his ability to carry on the very dynasty that gave him life. In the film, the director breaks the wall between himself and his subject to ask heartfelt questions of his grandmother. “How do you stay faithful? And if I can’t see myself doing that, how can I honestly get married knowing that I could eventually break the heart of the woman I love?”
“I can’t say I didn’t do anything to make Ossie unhappy…” Ms. Dee states as she carefully reveals the core commitment made between her and Mr. Davis. Her answer only sparked more questions for Muta’Ali, provoking him to dig deeper into the family archives and the history of He chronicles their remarkable journey as trailblazers in the arts community and activists in the Civil Rights Movement. Muta’Ali also shares exclusive video footage, family photos and memorabilia. In addition, a host of celebrity friends like Alan Alda, Angela Bassett, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Hill Harper, Samuel Jackson, Spike Lee, S. Epatha Merkerson, Phylicia Rashad, Glynn Turman, Dr. Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez and Malik Yoba share eyewitness accounts of this American legacy.
Check out the trailer for the film in the video below.
Life’s Essentials with Ruby Dee will air this Sunday, January 17, at 3:00 p.m. EST on Centric.